However, this was before pet costumes were readily available in stores. I have great ideas, but no execution when it comes to crafts. Most of my elementary school projects never made the fridge at home, and even at a young age I was always embarrassed to hand over whatever lump or floppy over adorned art project I had dreamed up and massacred for Mother's Day or Father's Day. I am just not crafty with anything other than words.
My coworker Shirley, on the other hand, is the craftiest person I have ever known, and she volunteered to help with the Halloween cat costume project. She said she would make one and walk me through the construction of the other, and helped me pick what to make. JJ, my large, fluffy, black boy cat who likes to hide, I decided to make him into a Polar Bear. When deciding what to do with Lexi, my fluffy tabby girl who was a diva from kittenhood, I decided to make her Jeannie (you know, from the TV series "I Dream of Jeannie.") Of course part of that decision was because in the 3rd grade one of my friends got to be Jeannie and it was the coolest costume I had ever seen, and I was just projecting my own failed Halloween aspirations onto poor Lexi now that I had a little girl of my own....cat or not, she was going to get to be Jeannie the Genie.
In no time flat Shirley had whipped up a fluffy white polar bear suit for JJ, with a little stub tail, and elastics to hold the white paws over his black paws -- equipped with polar bear claws, and a little polar bear mask that sat on top of his head. It took me 2 weeks of lunch hours to hand sew a little red satin skirt with gold trim and a pink sheer layer (because she wasn't wearing bloomers or a vest no matter how hard I tried), but I did it. The first and only sewing project I would ever do. I also made the matching hat and veil, also which she was having no part of. We were ready.
We never made it to the show though...getting 2 anti social cats into costumes and a car and onto a stage with a bunch of dogs and an audience was a futile pipe dream. It was a nice night, but we never made the stage. I decided that after all that work, I was going to get a picture at least. This lead me down the road of true cat lady -- I was so determined to document all the hard work I booked a sitting with a professional photographer.
If you thought the cat costume contest was a lost cause, the trip to the photographer went even worse. I lost a lot of blood that day, the photographer probably needed therapy, and in the end over a package of bandaids and a tube of polysporin he suggested we should complete the sitting at my house on another day...aka he kicked us out. True to his word, he did come over and get the shots, and in the end I have beautiful pictures of the two little bad cats who would become such a big part of my life for almost two decades. Here they are.
Lexi never let me put the costume on her again. JJ on the other hand, loved his polar bear suit, and some days I used to just put it on him because it made him happy -- her seriously pranced around with pride. To be fair, he also used to flip a cat bed over onto his head and slide around the house with his head covered thinking he was invisible. Kinda like hidey spider.
Happy Halloween. Fortunately my sister is more craftier than I.
|My sister carved these, for JJ, Lexi, and Jaycena|
|pumpkin row at my sisters...some festive, representing joy, music, and her MYC, and in tribute to those lost too soon|